How To Become Less Stiff?
Are you someone who would describe themselves as a little “stiff”? You’ve probably taken a yoga class one time only to be a bit intimidated at the intensity of some of the poses so you’ve decided “I’ll just stretch on my own.
You’ve probably also heard you should walk 10,000 steps a day. But is that really enough to make yourself less stiff?
While I firmly believe that some movement is better than none, I also believe how you move matters. So I don’t necessarily think how much should you move is the right question when we are trying to discover how to be less “stiff”. How much we move is important to health. How we move is important to tissue quality.
So here is what we need to know:
- We need to move daily
- We need to move in various directions
- We need to improve Mobility + Stability + Strength
Recently in my blog How to Warm-Up for Squats I mention how we want to train certain areas to ensure they function properly. So if all we want to do is walk and sit then all we need to do is walk and sit. But to live a full life you’re probably going to want more than that. You’ll want to bend, twist, flex, extend, reach, and everything in between. We should aim for at least 10-15 minutes of intentional movement daily. This is outside of our normal walking and the times we decide to stretch.
Most of our daily movements rely on our shoulders, hips, and spine performing well. We should aim to express all the movements these areas are designed to perform. Shoulders should be able to draw a large circle of movement and lift directly out from our sides. Our spine should be able to flex front to back and side to side. It should also be able to twist. All this to say walking and a couple stretches doesn’t cut it . I’ve included a couple movements that might stand out from the norm below.
In my latest eBook I break down in detail the difference between mobility, stability, and strength . Briefly I’ll detail them here:
- Mobility – Capacity for motion
- Stability – Ability to resist force
- Strength – Ability to produce force
Each of these play a profound role in how our bodies move. Without mobility we have less access to muscle to stabilize and strengthen. Removing stability we do not have a firm foundation on which to build strength, leaving us vulnerable to injuries. In the absence of strength we can not move as we intend to move.
We want to take inventory of how much mobility we need, then stabilize that range, then strengthen our ability to move through that range without the assistance from gravity.
The way we train through exercise is a great time to emphasize each of these to greater capacities. On a daily basis I feel we should at least maintain the mobility and stability of the ranges we want to keep access to. What you don’t use, you lose.
If you’re interested in assessing your current mobility, stability, and strength click here and fill out the form to schedule your Movement Screen at no cost to you.
In closing that this is a journey. It won’t always be easy but it is certainly worthwhile. This subject interested you I highly suggested checking out my eBook to learn more.
Steven Davis (Owner of Davis Fitness Method, Seattle, Wa.)